SAMURAI SWORDS ARREST
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia man has been charged after police say he swung two Samurai-style swords at officers. Fairfax County Police announced charges yesterday against 19-year-old Eric Perez of Alexandria. He is charged with counts including brandishing and disorderly conduct. Police say they received a call Saturday night about a man yelling and knocking over trash cans. According to police, Perez started swinging the swords when police arrived. They say they tried to persuade him to drop the swords ,but that when he didn’t they used a Taser and arrested him.
MARYLAND STATE SONG
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers who support changing the official state song think the time is right to finally wipe “Northern scum,” and other pre-Civil War phrases out of it. “Maryland, My Maryland,” was written in 1861 by James Ryder Randall. It was adopted as the state song in 1939.Previous attempts to change or replace it have failed. Now, some say recent events involving Confederate statues may help change the language in what was originally a poem that doubled as a call to arms. In August, just days after violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Maryland officials removed a statue of Roger Taney from the statehouse grounds. He was the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to African-Americans.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is on the cusp of removing a statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol and replacing it with one of an African-American woman. The state’s House of Representatives approved the bill yesterday and the governor is expected to sign it. It would remove a statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith and put up one of Mary McLeod Bethune in its place. She founded a school that would eventually become historically black Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her statue would be the first African-American woman in Statuary Hall. Congress allows each state two statues there. Florida’s other one is of John Gorrie, whose inventions led to modern-day air conditioning.
SMUGGLED TIGER CUB
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California teen has been sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling in a Bengal tiger cub from Mexico. The defense attorney for 18-year-old Luis Valencia told the court Tuesday in San Diego before his sentencing that his client had had a lapse in judgment and wanted the endangered tiger as a pet. But prosecutors argued Valencia’s cellphone data showed he was running an animal smuggling business and boasted about getting thousands for monkeys, jaguars and lions. The 6-week-old cub was found on the passenger-side floor in Valencia’s car in August at a San Diego border checkpoint. Tigers are endangered and it’s illegal to import them without a permit. The tiger cub now lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
STOLEN VAN-BULL SEMEN
EVERSON, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man is in hot water after police say he stole a van containing $10,000 worth of frozen bull semen. The Bellingham Herald reports that the 39-year-old Everson man was booked into Whatcom County Jail on Saturday after police pulled him over in a van belonging to West Select Sires, a cattle-breeding company. Everson Police Chief Daniel MacPhee says the van had been stolen earlier in the day. MacPhee also said it required repeated commands to get the driver out of the vehicle and that he resisted arrest by trying to prevent police from handcuffing him.